yummylee's Saints Row: The Third Genkibowl VII (PlayStation 3) review

Genki Commands you to read this user-review.

The first ''substantial'' piece of DLC has finally arrived, offering up new activities, Homies, outfits and vehicles. The fact that everything new there is to do and see can be wrapped up under an hour is a notable downside to what is otherwise a relatively creative endeavour.

GENKI MADNESS! Or more specifically, Genki Bowl VII (which is once more commentated by the reprisal of Zach and Bobby) has opened up within Steelport and the infamous ''Boss'' of the Third Street Saints gang (or whatever the hell you'd call them at this point) is lucky enough to have been selected to pave the way through Genki's treasure box of increasingly absurd and wacky challenges.

Despite the trailer listing new missions in this pack, the ''missions'' are really just glorified activities, much like how the majority of the first act for the main game plays out. There is still an opening and an ending cutscene, but make no mistake, there's very little story to be found here and your character only speaks during the end--though no matter what voice your character has, s/he'll sadly enough always talk using the default male Troy Baker voice lightly masqueraded under a voice modulator. It doesn't exactly break the ''immersion'' so to speak, but it's a shame that you couldn't hear your own character speaking with their own accent-eccentric flavourful dialogue.

Genki Demands kitty litter. OBEY. Genki is Pleased.

There are five ''missions'' for you to undertake, though there's actually only four new activities; for some reason, Volition placed both levels (each activity only has two stages) of the Super-Ethical PR Opportunity into the main stream. Which makes for a solid opener into describing what the new activities are. There is of course the Super-Ethical PR Opportunity, which has you driving around the increasingly terrifying Prof. Genki (I fear for what he would do to me if he ever laid his lime-green eyes of evil on this review), who'll, literally, command you to cause a variety of havok amidst in the streets in his flame-thrower-equipped, blood fuelled, Genki-Mobile. It all functions very similarly to the Escort/Tiger Escort missions from the main campaign. But the Genki-Mobile itself is a really fun vehicle to drive around in, and it's multi-directional flamethrower is flame-tastic or somethi--oh whatever.

Next up is Apocalypse Genki, which literally makes no stretches to hide how it's just a fairly larger take on the original Prof. Genki activity from the main game. You'll go around killing even more mascots--who appear to have a strikingly indomitable glutton for punishment--and there'll be bonuses that award extra cash, health, time, ect. for you to shoot littered around the area. The part that makes it all worthwhile is the environment itself; much larger with multiple pathways and corners and bridges, it all starts to resemble a kind of quaint little maze

OF DEATH!

Things start to look a lot more inventive with Sexy Kitten Yarngasm, which has you rolling around Steelport pulling the reigns to, you guessed it, a monstrous ball of yarn. The city is graciously filled with all kinds of Genki posters and Genki-themed vehicles for you to crush for bonuses; it's genuinely a lot of fun, even if this too is basically just another variant of an already established activity - Tank Mayhem.

This isn't flying, it's falling - with style!

Sad-Panda-Skydiving! This is where the value really shines through. Flying across the air whilst wearing a Sad Panda outfit, dropping onto rooftops and putting an end to even more of those pitiful ''lesser'' mascots, as Genki would call 'em; it's literally like nothing else the franchise has given (except... maybe for PC players and their bastion of mods). Although knowing that there's only two sequences available will leave you looking like a Sad Panda.

Besides the activities, there still exist a few extra miscellaneous goodies; all vehicles and outfits (still no Prof. Genki outfit though, disappointingly enough) across the activities are eventually unlocked, and there are four new Homie characters to call up on, too. Though currently they're a little buggy; calling them up doesn't give any kind of ring tone and there's no response dialogue for when they answer, nor when they arrive. But putting that aside, what's most disheartening is that there's very little content within the Genki-Hall prize-room, and the majority of what is here mostly riffs off of other already established activities. And at this point when most players have already long reached the maximum Rank of Respect, complete with all the benefits including near-invincibility and infinite ammo, Genki Bowl VII feels hollow after the fact; it's the kind of stuff that would have made much more sense to be apart of the main game.

There are some chuckles to be had, and if you purchased the Season Pass then this little bundle is ''free''. But to make the whole Pass count, then Volition better step up their game; ante up the awesome; push the envelope; strive to the next level; go where no one has ever gone before... etcetera, and make sure Gangstas in Space and Trouble With Clones have a little more substance to them. And Johnny Gat.

7 Comments
Posted by Little_Socrates

There was a short bit at the bottom feed of the first cutscene with possible hints towards the next game.This was one of the best parts of the DLC.

"Johnny Gat Rumored: Still Alive?" and "Senator Monica Hughes Announces Presidential Bid" both scrolled across the bottom of the screen.

Also, I'd like to point out that the new announcer commentary is easily the best part of the new DLC, even as awesome as Sad Panda Skydiving was. I wish the Sad Panda suit carried its powers into the free roam, though, as opposed to just in the activity.

Posted by Yummylee

@Little_Socrates:

Cheers for the recommendation, and yeah I noticed the funny little news stream during the opening, too. I even created a thread about it - to no replies, I'm disappointed to say. =/

Posted by Little_Socrates

@Abyssfull: I wouldn't be shocked to find out that the two of us and are the only people who actually played Genkibowl that post in the forums regularly.

Posted by AltonBrown

@Little_Socrates: I've played Genkibowl, but I don't post as regularly as I used to...

Summed up my feelings nicely. Great review, @Abyssfull.

Posted by Yummylee

@AltonBrown: Ta very much!

Posted by TheMartino

The professor Genki outfit was a pre order bonus, hence why it hasn't popped up since.

Surprised they aren't selling that seperate.

Posted by Yummylee

@TheMartino said:

The professor Genki outfit was a pre order bonus, hence why it hasn't popped up since. Surprised they aren't selling that seperate.

I was talking about the Professor Genki Outfit, with his lab coat and puffy pink paws. The preorder bonus is just some daredevil costume with Genki's head.

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